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Refuel’s Expansion Engine Gets Refueled

C-store retailer receives $511 million to continue acquisition strategy
refuel

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Refuel Operating Co. LLC, a retail and wholesale fuel distribution and convenience-store business, has received a $511 million capital infusion to continue pursuing acquisitions.

Sixpoint Partners, an investment bank focused on the middle-market private equity industry, has closed the First Reserve Refuel Fund LP, a single-asset continuation vehicle managed by First Reserve, a middle-market private equity firm with a focus on the energy sector. First Reserve retained Sixpoint Partners to serve as global exclusive placement agent. The First Reserve Refuel Fund acquired Refuel, a “buy-and-build” platform with more than 170 convenience stores in the Southeast, from a previous First Reserve fund.

The fund also provides additional resources for Refuel to continue pursuing its acquisition-driven growth strategy, Sixpoint Partners said.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management Vintage Funds led the fund, and it provided existing First Reserve limited partners with the option to take liquidity or participate in the continued growth of Refuel.

“Refuel is a blue-chip asset that will benefit from more capital and time to continue and accelerate its growth trajectory,” said Eric Zoller, founder and partner at Sixpoint Partners, New York.

“Given the increasing selectivity we are seeing in the market around single-asset transactions, we view robust demand for the fund as a testament to First Reserve’s reputation and the strength of the underlying Refuel platform,” said Shawn Schestag, partner and head of capital solutions for Sixpoint Partners.

“We are excited to continue to partner with the Refuel management team to execute on our growth strategy,” said Neil Wizel, a partner at First Reserve, Stamford, Conn. “The additional capital is intended to fund expansion of the business as we continue to focus on building a leading U.S. convenience-store brand.”

  • Refuel is No. 64 in CSP’s 2021 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.

History of Acquisitions

Mark Jordan, Refuel CEO, opened the first Refuel c-store and gas station in Charleston, S.C. in May 2010. Since then, the company has embarked on a series of acquisitions that appears to have no sign of stopping.

In April 2018, Jordan and partner Travis Smith joined with First Reserve to form FR Refuel, which closed its first two acquisitions, absorbing Jordan’s now five-store Refuel operation while acquiring Hartsville, S.C.-based West Oil’s c-store assets, gaining 26 stores to expand its retail footprint to 31 stores in South Carolina.

In June 2019, Refuel acquired Bishopville Petroleum Co. Inc., Bishopville, S.C., adding two more c-stores.

In January 2020, it acquired the assets of Turtle Market in Myrtle Beach, S.C., consisting of two high-volume c-stores and two sites under construction.

In April 2020, Refuel completed the purchase of Double Quick Inc., bringing its store count to 83. In November 2020, it agreed to buy the assets of Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Holmes Oil Inc., including the Cruizers c-store chain.

In June 2021, Refuel closed on the acquisition, announced in May, of Wag-A-Bag LLC, which has 18 c-stores in Texas. In August 2021, Refuel entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Albemarle Oil Co., including 28 ALCO c-stores in North Carolina and South Carolina. And in September 2021, it entered into a deal to acquire the assets of Action Fuels LP, including 9 Buck’s c-stores in Texas.

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